Sneak Peek: Merlin – “The Crystal Cave”

Hi there…

The beauty of Merlin as a series is that it has an amazing chance to reinvent some of the great stories involving Merlin, Arthur, Guinevere, Lancelot, and the rest of the figures of Camelot. One of those plotlines I’ve been waiting to see is about the Crystal Cave.

Merlin as a wizard has always captured my attention – back to the early 1980s when I started playing games like Dungeons & Dragons and really started tearing through piles of fantasy and science fiction novels at the library. While in that particular spell of reading, I came across Mary Stewart‘s The Crystal Cave, which was the first in a series she wrote about Merlin and Camelot. Though I don’t recall much about the series, the concept of Merlin trapped in such a cave stuck with me.

Based on the classical stories of Merlin, as Camelot begins to fall, he becomes enraptured by Nimue, who doesn’t really want the attention. On their way back to Camelot, they stop for the night in a cave where Nimue lays a trap from which he cannot escape. And he eventually dies there.

I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in the Valley of Fallen Kings with Arthur & Merlin… What secrets does the valley hold and what’s in the cave?

In the next all-new episode of Merlin, Arthur leads Merlin through the Valley of the Fallen Kings in order to find a hide-away. Arthur claims they will never be followed in after Merlin prods about whether or not the valley is cursed. Arthur’s response doesn’t sit well with Merlin and they are quickly trying to lead their pursuers off their trail once again. Watch the clip to find out if Arthur and Merlin can dodge a battle and tune in Friday at 10/9c on Syfy.

–Fitz

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Dragons of Autumn Twilight… Ugh

Dragonlance: Dragons of Autumn TwilightImage via Wikipedia

Hi all…

Ok, so by now most of you know that there are a few things on my top 10 list… Among them are roleplaying games (like Dungeons and Dragons), cartoons, and movies. Well, I found a combination of the three that just made me want to cry, and not in a good way.

Yes, I’d read the reviews. Yes, I’d seen all the negative press… But it’s like being drawn to the scene of an accident like a rubber-necker… I couldn’t help but watch.

So when Netflix delivered Dragonlance: Dragons of Autumn Twilight to my mailbox, I was hopeful but knew deep inside it was a mistake to watch it. I should’ve listened to myself. It was a mistake. Ugh.

Here‘s the IMDB link.

Let’s set the stage…

In the mid-1980s, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman created a new series of novels for TSR at the time, who was the steward of the Dungeons and Dragons franchise. This new series of novels focused on a small set of heroes in the land of Krynn who were fighting against evil dragons and gods. It was initially a trilogy — Dragons of Autumn Twilight, Dragons of Winter night, and Dragons of Spring Dawning. They were a sensation in the 80s. I have to admit to enjoying them in high school and college myself. And of course the authors went on to create other series in the Dragonlance worlds over the years, including the Lost Chronicles trilogy which started in 2006 and has its third book coming out this year.

[rating:1/4]

Now, I have also talked about the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon series from the 1980s that was pretty cheesy, yet had a good following. You can read my article about that series here. But that was the 1980s — full of grand stories, bad animation, and it was the norm for cartoons on television.

We’re now in 2008. We’ve had amazing series come and go over the years. The Batman and Superman Animated series from the 1990s as a good example. And we seem to be in the waning period of great animation where companies are more interested in quantity than quality.

That unfortunately is what happened with this Dragonlance movie. It’s definitely one of those cases where the books are SO much better than the movie. Continue reading “Dragons of Autumn Twilight… Ugh”